Deep shelf key to El Paso's portfolio

Deep gas on the shallow shelf will be the bread and butter of the Gulf of Mexico, according to Rodney Erskine, president of El Paso Production Co.

Deep gas on the shallow shelf will be the bread and butter of the Gulf of Mexico, according to Rodney Erskine, president of El Paso Production Co.

"I'm extremely excited about the deep shelf," Erskine told the Petroleum Equipment Suppliers Association on February 18. El Paso's plans for 2003 and 2004 reflect Erskine's enthusiasm.

The company has 46 deep shelf prospects between 15,000 and 20,000 ft, with mean reserves of 250 bcf. The gross potential of the area is 11,220 bcf, Erskine said.

El Paso has had success in its deep shelf wells, and according to Erskine, the future looks even more promising. The reason is the company's success in improving economics. The first three deep shelf wells were drilled at an average cost of $25 million. The next three wells cost $16.5 million to drill and complete.

According to Erskine, El Paso's most recent deep shelf well was drilled and completed for $10 million.

Gas continues to drive the company's GoM activities. "The Gulf of Mexico has been a great place for us," said Erskine. "We're going to stay on the shelf."

02/19/03

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